31 Healthy Habits to Embrace While Social Distancing

Navigating change and building resiliency starts with healthy habits.

A woman reads a book and smiles.

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed society in a short period of time — businesses have shuttered, many people are out of work, more workers are telecommuting, and students are learning from home. Whatever your circumstances, it’s natural to be feeling anxiety about the change in routine, and uncertainty about the future.

Maintaining or starting healthy habits that can build resiliency is essential for living through challenging times. Here are some ways to do that while we’re practicing social distancing. 

EAT

1. Prepare new recipes using what you have in your pantry.

2. Perfect your sauerkraut or other favorite digestion-boosting fermented foods.

3. Share a meal with family or friends by using Zoom or another videoconferencing platform.

4. Try your hand at grain-free baking or making a gluten-free sourdough starter.

MOVE

5. If your community isn’t on full lockdown, take your workout outside. Make sure you’re in a space big enough to maintain social-distancing rules.

6. Take an exercise, Zumba, or yoga class online.

7. Ride your bike.

8. Turn your neighborhood stroll into a workout.

SNOOZE

9. Don’t skimp on sleep, even if you’re feeling anxious. Check out these tips for getting a good night’s rest during stressful times.

10. Take a nap — it’s a great way to take a break and recover from stress.

CLEAN 

11. Declutter your closet or car or join the growing minimalist movement.

12. Give your home an energy audit. Repairing those leaky faucets will save you money in the long run.

13. Clean out the fridge by making this soup, which makes use of veggies that have passed their prime.

GROW 

14. Tis the season to start seeds. Try these tips for growing your own herbs.

15. Prepare your garden beds for seedling planting.

16. Plan a low-mosquito garden.

17. Make a bee bath to help support your favorite pollinators.

18. Feed the birds in your yard, or check out the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s Feederwatch webcam to see which feathered friends are stopping by for a snack.

19. Not an avian aficionado? You can view lots of other wildlife, from bears fishing in a stream in Alaska to animals visiting a watering hole in Africa.

LEARN 

20. Start a hobby like knitting or sewing, or reignite an old passion by dusting off that old acoustic guitar.

21. Read a book or 10 — and make it a group effort by starting a virtual book club.

22. Take a museum tour online, and download a coloring book based on its artwork.

23. Tune in to musicians by watching online concerts, and buy merchandise from the performer’s website. Consider an online lesson — some artists and musicians are offering them for free.

CONNECT 

24. Adopt a pet or teach your dog (or your cat) some new tricks.

25. Stay in touch with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, including those you may not have spoken to in a long time. Ask them how they’re doing, share news, and provide support for each other.

26. Ease anxiety and find perspective by starting a gratitude journal.

27. Ground yourself by starting a meditation or mindfulness practice.

28. Thank a grocery-store worker, healthcare provider, or delivery driver. Expressing appreciation for others is powerful and nurturing — and it’s free.

29. Buy gift cards from your favorite café, restaurant, or local business that you can use when stores reopen.

30. Find safe ways to volunteer — by running errands for elderly neighbors, donating blood, or helping in community kitchens.

31. Stay updated on the news, but know when it’s time to disconnect.

is an Experience Life senior editor.

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